Did you know that a slow download speed actually contributes to user anxiety and frustration? In other words, file size really does matter. To save time and frustration, convert your KB and MB with this helpful calculator.

    Whether you're sending attachments in emails or uploading media to your website, it's important to know the difference between kilobytes and megabytes.

    In the comprehensive question and answer guide below, we go over how to convert these units as well as other useful information about the measurements.


    What are KB and MB?

    KB stands for kilobyte, while MB is short for megabyte. KB and MB are units of measurement, much like miles and inches. The only difference is that KB and MB are a unit of information.

    Base Two vs. Base Ten

    There are two different systems you can use when calculating KB and MB. The International System of Units (SI) uses the Base 10 system, while the binary system definition of bytes refers to the Base 2 system.

    The Base 10 system is usually used to calculate data transfer speeds, as well as the size of storage systems. The Base 2 system is still used in Microsoft Windows.

    More On KB

    KB uses the prefix "-kilo." A KB is defined differently depending on which calculation system you are using.

    In the Base 10 system, 1KB equals 1000 bytes. However, if you're using the Base 2 system, 1KB is equivalent to 1024 bytes.

    KB typically make up smaller files like text documents.

    More On MB

    MB is the bigger of the two measurements and uses the prefix "-mega." The definition of an MB also differs when you use different systems.

    1MB equals 1,000,000 bytes in the Base 10 system. When you use the Base 2 system, 1MB is defined as 1,048,576 bytes.

    The size of larger files like long documents, photos, and videos are expressed in MB.

    How do you convert from KB to MB (and vice versa)?

    Converting kilobytes and megabytes may seem complicated, but it's actually quite simple once you're aware of the formula.

    You first must learn how many KB are in an MB: there are 1000 KB in 1MB

    KB to MB

    You simply need to do the following equation to convert:

    MB = KB / 1000

    Just replace the MB and KB with their corresponding values

    MB to KB

    To convert MB to KB, you'll need to do the opposite of the previous equation:

    KB = MB x 1000

    These equations can come in handy if you don't have access to an online conversion calculator like ours.

    When do you have to convert KB and MB?

    When you're sending a group of people an email attachment, it's not logical to send a large file. This is due to varying internet speeds that your recipients have.

    Those who have a slower internet speed will have trouble downloading larger-sized images, long audio or high-quality video.

    You also have to pay attention to how many recipients you have, as well as how large the size of your file is.

    Sending a large file typically isn't a problem, but when you mail it to a lot of people, it creates problems with bandwidths and internet service providers.

    For example, if you're emailing a 10MB PDF attachment to a few friends, your recipients will be able to open the file with ease.

    However, if you're sending the 10MB email attachment to 2000 people, that would not work. When you have such a large amount of recipients, it would be more appropriate to send a PDF with a lower resolution or a document that has text only.

    Computers still have their limitations, meaning you'll need to adjust and convert your file sizes to accommodate a range of internet speeds.

    How are KB and MB used in real life?

    If you use a computer daily, chances are that you use KB and MB (units of digital information) every single day.

    That five-page essay you were working on late at night was made up of around 500KB, while the short email you sent had only 1KB.

    The songs on your phone contain about 1MB per minute, and any high-quality pictures you take are about 2-5MB. When you used to pop in CDs in your car, you were using a device that can have up to 700MB of data storage on it.

    Those who have a fast internet speed are lucky--those with a slower speed will have to wait one hour to download only 10MB. Older broadband connections have an upload speed of only 512 kilobytes per second (kbps).

    When were these units invented?

    The "byte" in KB stems from the bit measurement unit. Eight bits equal one byte. When the byte was invented, so were kilobytes and megabytes.

    Bytes were defined when the IBM Stretch, the first transistorized supercomputer, was being developed. Werner Buchholz was the first to use the term byte in June of 1956.

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